lundi 5 mai 2014

Foreign Fighters, Rebel Side, in Syria. 8/Germans

Germany, unlike France or the United Kingdom within the EU, opposed sending military assistance or direct intervention to topple Bashar al-Assad1. This has not prevented a growing number of Germans to join the jihad in Syria. German media also talk in recent months of a true German "training camp" in Syria to attract volunteers practicing the language of Goethe. The phenomenon is not new. In 2009, a "German" camp was thus installed in Pakistan to supply the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan related to al-Qaeda. In 2012, the German intelligence evokes genuine German "Salafist colony" in Egypt , including more than 60 fighters, including the famous rapper Denis Cuspert ("Deso Dogg") that had escaped the surveillance of German security and fighting now Syria. In mid- November, the German police also stated that "Deso Dogg" plans to conduct attacks against Germany, that it immediately denies in a video. There are rumors of his death in late November 2013, but it seems rather that he is hospitalized in Syria or in Turkey.


The Germans, as a specialist says, are not in the majority in al-Nosra or ISIS, who are victims of "spy mania" distrust towards new converts as "Deso Dogg". The German security services had already been put on the spot in 2012 by the New York Times which stated that a Tunisian who might have served as a bodyguard to bin Laden, one year before the September 11 attacks, was quietly lived in Germany for some time. Sami A., because of his experience and training in the camps Affghanistan would have been a source of influx of volunteers for jihad. One estimate, in December 2013, reported 230 Germans, according to the high case, which would have left to Syria. In March, the number was only 60, before moving to 150 in August. The Land of Hessen had to install a special monitoring device to curb departures teenagers to the Syrian jihad. On 23 cases studied, most of the recruits were under 25 years and 9 are still in school. The Minister of Interior has created a device to differentiate radical tendencies among the candidates initially on the model of what has been done to neo-Nazi and extreme right-wing movements.

German fighters had also participated in the massacre of Syrian Christians. Germany fears that the return of these fighters radicalize Salafist fringe and the tension is high with Turkey, accused of having maintained a porous border with Syria and have favored the access of the Syrian battlefield European volunteers. In January 2014, the German security services estimate that 270 people have already left to fight in Syria, some being returned to Germany. The number increased since the second half of 2013, includes both young men between 18 and 25 but also minors and women. Fifteen Germans had already died in Syria2.

In November 2013, Burak Karan, a former German national team player of age 17, of Turkish origin, was pronounced dead in Syria killed during an air raid on Azaz, on the Turkish border, October 11th. Karan had begun to evolve in the junior national team in 2003, having started in the team Wuppertal in west of Germany. He ended his promising career in 2008 at age 20. It falls under the influence of a radical Muslim, Emrah Erdogan, who tried to take him to Afghanistan with himself and his brother. The latter was killed by a U.S. drone strike in October 2010 ; Emrah, which remains in the border area with Pakistan until January 2011, left to join the Shabaab in Somalia in February, was arrested in Tanzania in June 2012 and extradited to Germany. Burak contact in 2011 Mohamed Mahmoud , Imam of the Mosque of Solingen and Millatu-Ibrahim group leader, a group banned by the authorities in mid-2012. Mahmoud has since been imprisoned in Turkey trying to reach Syria. Burak Karan left for Syria with his wife and two children in early 2013, supposedly to help distribute humanitarian aid ; but a photo released by a Syrian armed group Oct. 22, 2013 shows him with an AK -47 in hand and gives him the pseudonym Abu Abdullah al- Turki3.

Burak Karan.-Source :

In February 2014, a video confirms that Deso Dogg, aka Abu Talha al- Almani, survived his wounds, received in November 2013 after an airstrike in northern Syria. Denis Cuspert, his real name, was born in 1975 in Berlin, had abandoned the rap in 2010 to convert to an Islamic preacher. In late 2011, he befriended Mohamed Mahmoud, alias Abu Usama al- Gharib, an Egyptian-born Austrian. The latter, sentenced to prison in 2008, runs a platform for jihadist propaganda. He left Austria to Berlin after his release from prison in September 2011. With Cuspert he goes to the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia where they founded a Salafist association, Millatu Ibrahim. In June 2012, the German authorities banned the association after clashes between Salafists and police in Bonn, which wounded two policemen. Cuspert, who takes then the nom de guerre of Abu Talha al-Almani, left Germany. He goes to Syria in summer 2013, but in its propaganda videos, like that of November 201 , he does not preach a return to Germany in order to extend the jihad ; its purpose is to encourage Germans to come and fight in Syria. In February 2014, we see him distribute winter clothing to children in rebel-controlled areas ; donations come from Germany and clothing were provided by al-Nosra. German authorities then consider that at least 270 people are involved, since 2011 , in the Syrian jihad4.

Deso Dog en Syrie.-Source :

According to the German authorities, volunteers receive significant financial support from the Muslim community. Thousands of euros are collected by donation. A training camp for German volunteers was established in northern Syria, and welcomes the Germans who come mainly from the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia (where a third of the German Muslim community lives). Others come from Hesse, Berlin, Bavaria and Hamburg. An information center was even built on site to broadcast propaganda for the jihad in Germany5. Volunteers would be recruited by the sermons of radical imams and solicitation by Internet6.

Some evidence suggests that the Germans fight together in Syria in some formations. Philip Berger, a convert, and Mustafa K., come from Lohberg, a district of the city of Dinslaken, in western Germany. No less than seven young people in this neighborhood have left to do jihad in Syria, where they formed the "Lohberg Brigade"7. On 22 April 2014, Deso Dogg is killed after a double suicide-attack of al-Nosra against ISIS in eastern Syria8.
1Benjamin Weinthal, « The German jihadists' colony in Syria », The Long War Journal, 19 décembre 2013.
4 John Rosenthal, « German rapper, now jihadist still alive in Syria », Al-Monitor, 21 février 2014.
5 Fin juillet 2013, le site Shamcenter est lancé en 5 langues différentes, dont l'allemand :
6 Foreign fighters from Western countries in the ranks of the rebel organizations affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the global jihad in Syria, Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, 3 février 2014.

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